Uttarakhand: Brief Profile

Geographic profile of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is the 27th State of India and was carved out of Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000. It was known as Uttaranchal between 2000 and 2006. Uttarakhand is bordering Himachal Pradesh in the North-West and Uttar Pradesh in the South, and has international borders with Nepal and China. The famous peaks of Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Trishul, Bandarpunch and Mt Kamet, the major Glaciers including Gangotri, Pindari, Milam and Khatling are located in Uttarakhand. The Ganga, the Yamuna, Ramganga and Sharda are principal rivers of this region. The State is home to 12 major ecological areas of the country that include Nanda Devi National Park, the Valley of Flowers, Gangotri, Govind and the Rajaji National Parks, Kedarnath, Mussoorie, Binsar ,Sanadi, Govind and the Ascod Sanctuaries. All these areas support many rare plants and animal communities

Uttarakhand has two Divisions, Garhwal and Kumaun, with 13 Districts, which can be grouped into three distinct geographical regions – the High mountain region, the Mid-mountain region and the Terai region. The 13 districts are Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Tehri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar and Uttarkashi. Among the 13 districts, Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Tehri, Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Haridwar fall in the Garhwal region, while Nainital, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora, Udham Singh Nagar, and Bageshwar fall in the Kumaon region.

Uttarakhand is spread over an area of 55,845 square km having 78 Tehsils, 95 blocks and 7,227 Panchayats. The State has a total of 16,826 inhabitated villages, 86 cities / towns, and only five are major cities with population over 1 lakh.

Demographic profile of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand has a population of 84.9 lakhs with average density of 159 persons per sq km. which varies from as high as 612 in Haridwar and 414 in Dehradun to as low as 37 in Uttarkashi and 48 in Chamoli. 89% of the villages have population less than 500.

Of Uttarakhand’s total population of 84.9 lakhs, 74% reside in the rural areas. The Sex Ratio for the State is 962 (as compared to the all-India average of 933). The Sex Ratio for the Rural Uttarakhand is 1007 while that for Urban Uttarakhand is 845. The Child Sex Ratio for the State stands at 908 which is considerably lower than the all-India average of 927.

The proportion of Scheduled Caste (SC) population in Uttarakhand is 18% and that of Scheduled Tribe (ST) population is 3%. The Sex Ratio for SCs stands at 942 while that for STs is 954.

The overall literacy rate for the State of Uttarakhand is 72%. The male literacy rate is 83% which is significantly higher than the female literacy rate (i.e., 60%). Table 1 gives a snapshot of some of the significant demographic indicators for Uttarakhand.

Table 1: Demographic Indicators of Uttarakhand

Item Value
Proportion of Rural Population (%) 74
Proportion of SC (%) 18
Proportion of ST (%) 3
Sex Ratio 962
Child Sex Ratio 908
Sex Ratio (SC) 942
Sex Ratio (ST) 954
Literacy Rate (%) 72
Literacy Rate – Male (%) 83
Literacy Rate – Female (%) 60

Health profile of Uttarakhand

Table 2 gives the figures for some of the important health indicators based on the Sample Registration System (SRS) of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Government of India.

Total Fertility Rate of Uttarakhand (according to SRS 2006; the latest SRS 2008 figure for the State is not available) is 3.6 which is higher than the corresponding National average of 2.7. The Infant Mortality Rate is 44 (according to SRS 2008) which is lower than the National average of 53. The Maternal Mortality Ratio is 440 (according to SRS 2004-2006) which is significantly higher than the National average of 254. Crude Birth Rate (20.1) and Crude Death Rate (6.4) are lower than the corresponding National average figures of 22.8 and 7.4 respectively (according to SRS 2008).

Table 2: Health Indicators of Uttarakhand

Total Fertility Rate (SRS 2006) 3.6
Infant Mortality Rate (SRS 2008) 44.0
Maternal Mortality Ratio (SRS 2004-2006) 440
Crude Birth Rate (SRS 2008) 20.1
Crude Death Rate (SRS 2008) 6.4

Economic profile of Uttarakhand

The proportion of BPL persons in Uttarakhand stands at 39.6% as compared to the all-India proportion of 27.5% (according to the estimates of 2004-05). The proportion for Rural Uttarakhand is at 40.8% while that for Urban Uttarakhand is 36.5%.

The Work Participation Rate for Uttarakhand stands at 37%; accordingly the proportion of Non-Workers stands at 63%. Among the workers, the vast majority belongs to the category of Cultivators (50%) followed by Other Workers (39%).

Table 3: Economic Indicators of Uttarakhand

Item Value
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Overall 39.6
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Rural 40.8
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Urban 36.5
Work Participation Rate (%) 36.9
% of Non-Workers 63.1
Proportion of Cultivators (%) 50.1
Proportion of Agricultural Labourers (%) 8.3
Proportion of Household Industry Workers (%) 2.3
Proportion of Other Workers (%) 39.3

Rural Local Governance in Uttarakhand

Table 4 below gives the number of Panchayats and reserved category-wise proportion of elected representatives at all levels and at Gram (Village) level. The proportion of SC candidates is less than 20% at the overall as well as the Gram Panchayat level. The proportion of women is above 37% (at the overall as well as the Gram Panchayat level) which is more than the 33.3% reservation as mandated by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act. However, all these figures are as of 31st March 2008. Panchayat elections in Uttarakhand have taken place in September 2008 in which reservation for women candidates was increased to 50% by the State Government. The latest figures post the Panchayat elections of September 2008 are not available.

Table 4: No. of Panchayats and Elected Representatives in Uttarakhand

Panchayats No. of Panchayats Proportion of Elected Representatives  

(in %)

SC ST Women
At all levels 7,335 19.26 3.43 37.42
At Village level 7,227 19.29 3.40 37.60


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